Agriculture in the Harappan Civilization

Agriculture in the Harappan Civilization

The availability of fertile Indus alluvium contributed to the surplus in agricultural production.

Agriculture along with pastoralism (cattle-rearing) was the base of Harappan economy.

The granaries discovered at sites like Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Lothal served as the storehouses for grains.

Tools like furrows or plough-marks have been observed in a field at Kalibangan.

These indicate plough cultivation.

A terracotta plough has also been reported from Banawali in Hissar district of Haryana.

The irrigation was carried on a small scale by drawing water from wells or by diverting river water into channels.

The chief food crops included wheat, barley, sesamum, mustard, peas, jejube, etc.

The evidence for rice has come from Lothal and Rangpur in the form of husks embedded in pottery.

Cotton was another important crop.

Apart from cereals, fish and animal meat also formed a part of the Harappan diet.


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Trade in the Harappan Civilization

Trading network, both internal (within the country) and external (foreign), was a significant feature of the urban economy of the Harappans.

Various kinds of metals and precious stones were needed by craftsmen to make goods, but as these were not available locally they had to be brought from outside.

Thus Rajasthan region is rich in copper deposits and the Harappans acquired copper mainly from the Khetri mines located here.

Kolar gold fields of Karnataka and the river-beds of the Himalayan rivers might have supplied the gold.

The source of silver may have been Jwar mines of Rajasthan. It is believed that it must have also come from Mesopotamia in exchange for the Harappan goods.

The Harappans were engaged in external trade with Mesopotamia.  It was largely through Oman and Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. It is confirmed by the presence of Harappan art facts such as beads, seals, dice, etc. in these regions.

The export from Mesopotamia to Harappans included items such as garments, wool, perfumes, leather products, and sliver.


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